music credits are now included in the closing credits of each episode—all tracks are courtesy of Youtube’s Music Library, free to download and use without copyright restrictions or royalties unless otherwise stated, except original music, written and performed by Leah, the author’s daughter.
once again, heartfelt thanks to all the artists who so generously make their work available to us poor producers. Me2mama would be very much diminished without your talents. All hail to you all and Youtube too…
photos were taken on the day, just as the live action was recorded on the day. For the techies out there, here’s a little shot of the zoom H2n that does all the audio heavy lifting…fine technology indeed
Forgive the sentimentality. You know how it is when you write these things…
And please bear in mind, I am inexperienced at this kind of letter, having almost always been the dumpee, not the dumper:
I suppose I’ve been reluctant to write to you or speak to you because I know this is the end of things.
I’ve been clinging to the idea that there must be a way, but I don’t believe myself. I’ve suffered the strong need to cling to you and match your confidence in a future together, battling with an equally strong sense that we do not have enough to overcome the past nor indeed the present, because the present is no different from the past and so offers no hope.
In the end, for me, it is about what you call the little stuff. But I don’t see the stuff as little the way you do. I won’t go into the detail because there is no point. We see things very, very differently and that means it is almost impossible to explain to the other how each of us feels.
This may be something that love overcomes and I know that is your fervent wish and desire and that from time to time, you believe whole-heartedly that love really is enough. I know that at other times, you despair of convincing me and lose confidence yourself. I know also that you lose patience because I feel your impatience with me in what you call the little stuff.
You say you want to share your life with me. Your life is your family. We tried that for seven years and it ended badly. It is not even as if I can decide I don’t want to try that again. There is no decision to make because the idea is simply untenable for me having already emerged so bruised by our time together in that regard.
You say it’s up to me to decide how I want to live. At the moment, that’s difficult because there are so few options and that is my fault entirely. But I can decide how I do not want to live and I do not want to live as a part of the life you lead.
I loved being with you. I always love being with you. But we cannot live in isolation and I would not dream, (actually, I’ve always dreamed it possible but know it’s not…) of asking you to live like that because it is as impossible for you to choose that even if you wanted to, as it is for me to choose to live cheek by jowl with you and yours. I cannot do as you tell me I’ve done in the past and once again put you in a position of choosing. Even if I was to persuade you, it would make you miserable and I would become another like your brother-in-law Besides, you made that choice once already and I know you would make the same choice again and probably will.
I cannot live like that. So I must do the right thing and make the choice for us both.
I have loved you so much, though not always well, I know. I still love you and I will miss you forever, but you must progress with the project of yourself and your family and I must progress with the project of myself and mine.
I wish we could do that together, but we can’t because we see the world and the people in it and the values that are important and the judgements that need to be made, in quite opposite ways.
That means that we would both be alone even when we were together. I’m sure you’ve felt that. I know I have. I don’t want to feel that again and I am as sure as I can be that it is inevitable. It is a very unhappy thing to feel so alone with the one you love.
Given all of that, I think what we’ve achieved is remarkable, based not least on our mutual sense of fun, physical love, generosity, care and attention. We have been, and could have been more so, a golden couple and an example to others of how to live and how to love. We’ve learned a lot from each other and maybe some of that learning will stand us in good stead for the future. I hope so.
Time now for you to move on and leave me and us behind, never forgetting and I hope, never regretting. You are a wonderfully beautiful, sexy, bright, infinitely caring and gifted woman. You always will be.
For me, especially. xx
Music credits: Title music is by Wes Hutchinson, with incidental music by Kevin Macleod, Jon Sayles and E Jammy Jams, Long Note Two by Kevin MacLeod is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution license (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/)Source: http://incompetech.com/music/royalty-free/index.html?isrc=USUAN1100176Artist: http://incompetech.com/
‘Fings ain’t wot they used to be’.
Lionel Bart, writer and composer, he of Oliver! fame, who took so much LSD and was in such debt he sold the rights of the hit musical to Max Bygraves for £350 who re-sold them shortly after for £250,000…Bart died in relative poverty, despite his genius.
‘Everything is but for a day, both that which remembers and that which is remembered.’
Marcus Aurelius, emperor of Rome and philosopher, played by another marvellously bad boy, Richard Harris, in Ridley Scott’s film Gladiator, a thoughtful stoic, disappointed by his son Commodus who thought himself a god and doomed to spend his entire life making war.
‘The past is the only dead thing that smells sweet.’
Cyril Connelly, critic and author of Enemies of Promise, a three-part account of why he failed to become a great writer; dissecting your own failures is never an easy task. I know from experience.
‘Mais où sont les nieges d’antan?’
(But where are the snows of yesteryear?)
François Villon, fifteenth century poet, thief, brawler and all round bad boy who, five hundred years after his presumed death in a dungeon, was cited as an inspiration by Bob Dylan, quoted by Truman Capote and Hunter S Thompson and deliberately misquoted by Joseph Heller in Catch-22
…that’s men for you, always with the regret thing…but what about women? There’s certainly a poetic spin to the material gathered from these writers…
‘Memory is the seamstress, and a capricious one at that. Memory runs her needle in and out, up and down, hither and thither. We know not what comes next, or what follows after. Thus, the most ordinary movement in the world, such as sitting down at a table and pulling the inkstand towards one, may agitate a thousand odd, disconnected fragments, now bright, now dim, hanging and bobbing and dipping and flaunting, like the underlinen of a family of fourteen on a line in a gale of wind.’
Virginia Woolf, Orlando
‘If any one faculty of our nature may be called more wonderful than the rest, I do think it is memory. There seems something more speakingly incomprehensible in the powers, the failures, the inequalities of memory, than in any other of our intelligences. The memory is sometimes so retentive, so serviceable, so obedient; at others, so bewildered and so weak; and at others again, so tyrannic, so beyond control! We are, to be sure, a miracle every way; but our powers of recollecting and of forgetting do seem peculiarly past finding out.’
JANE AUSTEN, Mansfield Park
‘Always take responsibility for your past. It is your only collateral in life. Unless you despise yourself now, you cannot despise yourself then. Everything you did is a part of the process that brought you here. All your past is as alive and real as your so-called ‘present.’
Janet Morris, author and advisor on ‘non-lethal weapons’ to the US government…now that’d make a change from drone strikes…
‘If someone asked her just then what memory was, what the purest definition of memory was, she would say this: the street you were on when you first jumped in a pile of dead leaves. She was walking it right now. With every fresh crunch came the memory of previous crunches. She was permeated by familiar smells: wet woodchip and gravel around the base of the tree, newly laid turd underneath the cover of soggy leaves. She was moved by these sensations.’
Zadie Smith, White Teeth
…you didn’t really expect me to resist did you?
…well, I didn’t, couldn’t, though like many people, I personally prefer piaf’s real theme, la vie en rose, but isn’t this scratchy recording rather wonderful?
Check out this Guardian piece on cities that want to be age-friendly and what designers and architects are starting to think about for the future…if we have the vision, we can build the reality, all it takes is the will…
…and lest we forget, 42% of carers in the UK are male…surprised..?
Zara thinks it’s rare, but not so much according to the figures…that’s two and a half million men
cutting the mustard, day in, day out, just like the 58% of carers who are women…and whilst we’re doling out stats…
…376,000 carers in the UK are young folk between 16 and 25
The Amazing Village in the Netherlands
Music credits: Title music is by Wes Hutchinson, with incidental music by Audionautix and Kevin Macleod.
Percy French’s Come Back Paddy Reilly to Ballyjamesduff is performed by Leah, the author’s daughter. Written in 1912, French died in 1920, thus I believe the song to be free of copyright restrictions after best endeavours.
…there might have been a good reason why I decided that putting the photographs into a cheesy film strip background was a good idea for the Celebration of Life invitation cards.
However, you live and learn, and the photos themselves are none the less for being seen together like this, telling, as they kind of do, the complex story of a life…
Please note Rupert the Bear, centre top…rather fetching?
…here we are, green strip, sweaty after what I choose to remember as a victory, me dead centre, standing, together with the Beahan twins, Kevin and Kenny, their older brother Stephen, Chris McCormack and…well, maybe Huey Stonehill…memory, memory…circa 1968/70
…and the photographer? I’m sure I recognise that distinctive shadow…Dad?
My father, aged around eighteen, at the piano with another of my cousins…I’m guessing this photo was taken in Limerick at my father’s brother’s home, some time in the mid nineteen-fifties